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Kennedy-cosponsored bill that ensures parents are notified of sex offenders living near schools passes Senate

Senator Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, announced the Senate has passed legislation he cosponsored to help protect children from sex offenders who may live near their schools. Kennedy explained the bill would ensure school districts notify their students’ parents when they receive information about a sex offender residing within the district.

“With nearly 1,300 registered sex offenders residing in Erie County, it is critical that we provide families with the information they need to protect their children from dangerous predators who may be living in their neighborhood or near their kids’ schools,” said Senator Kennedy. “Our legislation will require school districts to notify parents of sex offenders residing nearby. Far too often, level-two and level-three sex offenders repeat repulsive, criminal behaviors and hurt children. Once this bill is signed into law, we will ensure parents know when predators move near their children’s school – and that knowledge will help keep kids safe.”

Records from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services show that approximately 1257 sex offenders live in Erie County. It’s also estimated that nearly 100 sex offenders live within school districts in the Town of Cheektowaga (Central, Cleveland Hill, Maryvale, Sloan and Depew) and nearby neighborhoods, and Senator Kennedy wants to make sure parents know where they are located. This legislation will provide parents with the alert notification they need to keep their kids safe.

This Kennedy-cosponsored legislation, which passed the Senate Monday, will strengthen Megan’s Law – which required level-two and level-three sex offenders to register their location and personal information with local law enforcement. It will ensure each school district notifies the families of their students when a sex offender moves into the district.

Once a school district receives knowledge from local police agencies of a sex offender living in the district, they will send notices and information home to their students’ parents or guardians.

Megan’s Law ensures information about level-two and level-three sex offenders and their whereabouts are available to the public, but local families are often unaware that the information is publicly available or they may not know where to find it. This new legislation will ensure parents have the information relayed directly to them.

Senator Kennedy has been working to advance school district notification measures like this since his days on the Erie County Legislature. It was then that he began raising the volume on the call for rapid and necessary notification systems requiring school districts to inform parents of sex offenders in the district.

This bill also provides school districts with the necessary funding from the state to reimburse them for any costs associated with their compliance with the law.


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